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Icons of A/V: Our Interview With Kristin of Our DJ Rocks

02 September 2021

Kristin is an entrepreneur, running an all-female entertainment company out of Orlando, FL. She’s also an incredible DJ and brings her infectious energy to the latest episode of the Sound Connections podcast!

Like many DJ companies, Kristin started out working gigs by herself. But her energetic hosting skills and her music mixing talent soon meant her schedule was completely booked. That led to her having to find other DJs to train, and soon Our DJ Rocks would become known as the #1 all-female DJ company in Orlando – rocking between 800 – 1,000 events annually. Kristin is now one of the most sought-after female DJs and entrepreneurs in the country and is also an author, speaker, and educator for the events industry. Kristin is also a big believer in the quality of QSC products and has become a featured DJ with QSC, producing content with other top talents from across the country.

kristin from Our DJ Rocks lying on a couch singing into mic

In this episode, we dive into Kristin’s favorite bands, her eclectic collection of first albums, and her first-ever concert (NKOTB fans will be happy!). We also learn about Kristin’s early time building Our DJ Rocks, and its sister company Photobooth Rocks, the devastating impacts of COVID on her industry, and how she was able to keep everything together and position her companies to succeed as weddings and live events return.

kristin from Our DJ Rocks sitting on couch laughing during Sound Connections podcast recording

About Kristin Hubbard

Kristin Hubbard, based in Orlando, Florida, is the Founder and CEO of the all-female DJ company Our DJ Rocks and Entertainment Brands Photobooth Rocks ONYX Powered by Our DJ Rocks. Leading a 7-figure entertainment collection of brands, Kristin collectively hosts 600-800 events a year with a roster of talented DJs and a team of over 20 dedicated event and hospitality professionals. She is also the host of the Love Lead Excel Podcast and is passionate about educating DJs and wedding industry professionals worldwide. Kristin is a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida, with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations, and a double Minor in Marketing and Education. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys traveling, making memories with loved ones, and is passionate about music, as evidenced by her debut country album 'Heartbound.' Connect with Kristin on Instagram at @meetkristin and @ourdjrocks

Listen and subscribe to the Sound Connections podcast on your favorite podcasting apps including Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts!

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Transcript

Hello listeners! Welcome to another episode of Sound Connections brought to you by Mainline Marketing in Winter Park, Florida. On today's episode, we talked with Kristin Wilson of RDJ Rock's fame, and it was a blast! She gave us some insight; she let us know all things music and what it meant to her, what it's like being and representing an all-female company in a space that is very dominated by men. It was wonderful, it was insightful, it was fun and I hope you guys all feel and hear that from this podcast. So, without further ado, here is Sound Connections featuring Kristin Wilson of RDJ Rock's.

Pat

We are back with another episode of Sound Connections. Kristin Wilson is our guest today. Thank you for joining me; I appreciate it. What's up? How are you doing?

Kristin

I'm fantastic.

Pat

That's good, that's good. We've been chatting a little bit, so we've gotten to know each other quite a bit, but I want to pivot into kind of your wheelhouse now. Okay. I want to talk to you about DJ things, I want to talk to you about music, I want to talk to you about just all the things that make you, you. So first, I want to start off with what should be an easy one but will not be. What does music mean to you?

Kristin

What? That's where we're starting? That's where we're gonna start. Oh my god. I mean, what does music mean to me? It's the entire universe; it's what makes the world turn. I mean you can play a song and it take you back to a certain point in time. You can play a song, and it creates a moment in time right now. It can change a mood, it can change an environment, it can make you feel, it moves every bit of your being.

Pat

So what is that? What song does that to you? What is that song for you? What is the one that you if you gun to your head they were like what song makes you tick? What is one that means that to you? What would that song be?

Kristin

Wow okay. Okay, so the way I'm gonna have to answer this question is how I just commented on a Facebook post like two weeks ago. Okay. When someone said what is one song that is like really morbid, but like, what song would you play at your funeral?

Pat

Uh Shots.-huh. It's Shots by LMFAO, right? No? Okay.

Kristin

No, not that one. Oh okay. No, that's fine. We can have shots. But I think it was one of the Miranda Lambert ones, maybe Bluebird or something or another. I have life-themed songs, but then I have theme songs for right now.

Pat

Okay, so what was one of them? I guess this will be a fun one because I can relate. What was the first album you purchased for yourself? Mine was, I'm gonna I'm gonna rip the band-aid off here. It was Nsync's debut album Nsync. That was my first album I purchased with my own dollars.

Kristin

Did you ever go see them in concert?

Pat

I did not. I missed the opportunity.

Kristin

I did they performed at a Walmart.

Pat

Love it.

Kristin

Yep sure did. Justin Timberlake had, um, the little.

Pat

He had the crunchy hair?

Kristin

He had the crunchy hair.

Pat

Ramen noodle hair?

Kristin

Yep, he sure did, and I waited in line for like five hours in the layaway section to get a signature.

Pat

And did you?

Kristin

Oh, yes. I did hang up at my office currently. 

Pat

That's perfect. Crunchy-haired JT. Yes. JC probably a little more talented but not as good at marketing himself. Let's be real. I did see Chris Kirkpatrick in downtown Orlando, and he was there. He was there. Chip Skylark, so that was kind of cool.

Kristin

In the full flesh.

Pat

In the full flesh. All of it. 

Kristin

My first album, I think there was like five of them. I was like oh my gosh, I'm getting these. TLC it, this is so random. So, TLC is crazy, sexy, and cool.

Pat

Love it.

Kristin

Green Day.

Pat

Love it.

Kristin

Dookie.

Pat

Oh yes.

Kristin

Um, that was my second uh, the Fuji's.

Pat

Oh, very nice.

Kristin

I know, so like we're going.

Pat

Your genres are spinning for decades. I love it. 

Kristin

Yes. Um, I don't remember any others, but those are my first three. My very first concert ever. In my whole entire life, I think I was like four and a half years old, was New Kids on the Block.

Pat

Oh.

Kristin

And I do remember when we were.

Pat

So boy band was like bred into you essentially. You were. Yeah, it's in the genes.

Kristin

Yeah. Um.

Pat

Nothing wrong with that, by the way. I mean, I respect.

Kristin

I do remember sitting in the stadium, and you know they, they were doing things on stage, and I covered my eyes, and my mom was like, it's fine. It's just a boy band, and I'm like, I don't think it's fine.

Pat

We were all that way once. I actually can backpack off of that. I saw Green Day uh perform when they did the American Idiot Tour, and that was one of my favorite concerts I've ever been to because my band that opened for them was Jimmy Eat World. Loved them, and they were touring their album Futures, which is one of my top five favorite albums of all time, and Billy Joe, at a certain point during the show, um, how can I say this in a PC way, puts his hand down his pants and you know okay uh my I was 15 so I couldn't go by myself my mother was to my left and to the uh to the left of her was my dad so I got to be a part of that at the age of 15

Kristin

Oh, that's fun. So when I was like maybe 17, I don't really know what age I was, but you talk about an album that literally moved me, and like to this day, I'm like, how can I get on a plane to Vegas because I really want to see him again Usher.

Pat

Okay, yep, I mean, I don't want to brag, but Burn is my karaoke song, so I feel the Usher love.

Kristin

Okay but like also nice and slow.

Pat

It's all good, it's all good, all Usher's good, Usher.

Kristin

But Burn's fine, too. Burn is good. Burn's good.

Pat

We like Burn.

Kristin

I definitely hit record when he came on the radio on the cassette tape.

Pat

Did you use the record and the play button? So that would...

Kristin

Yep, I know that life. So many people don't know that. Maybe I shouldn't have said that out loud.

Pat

It was back. Don't worry; we're past.

Kristin

I also have records and albums too.

Pat

Yeah, you own it now.

Kristin

All of it. But like I have Spotify, I have cassettes, I have CDs, I have all of it.

Pat

If someone's going to be mad at you for recording something on a cassette tape, they need to reevaluate some things.

Kristin

Come at me.

Pat

Please, please. So how did you at what point in your life did you kind of decide that the DJ route was something that you wanted to do. How did that come about?

Kristin

You know that's crazy. I really, music has really always been a part of me. There hasn't been a moment that I can ever remember that music didn't help me through something or inspire me through it. And so you know, when I got to a certain point where I was in college, I was in the right place at the right time, and I asked the right question, and it was, can chicks do this. You know, because... You look at an industry that is very male-driven, and how am I to know any different. I don't know, you know. And so, still my mentor to this day, he said anyone with a great personality and great work ethic can do it. And so he took me under his wing, and he trained me.

Pat

So that has led to where you are now. Do you want to do a little bit of humble brag and let us know all about where you are now?

Kristin

Oh man, I am so humble but so grateful at the same time. I never thought that I would really be where I am. To be honest, it wasn't in the game plan. A lot of things happen organically, and I think if I look back now, it comes down to the cliche quote that your vibe attracts your tribe. You know I started doing weddings and I started doing events and I needed help and there were great humans around me that I said you know do you need a part-time job because I need to pay you on the weekends I need an extra pair of hands you know they happen to be chicks and then they were they they got curious just like I did and so I trained you know my first three four DJs and then after that I'm like hmm you know clients would reach out to me and say I really like everything that you're about I I love that I love that what I believe in is the same thing that you believe in can I have you or someone on your team and I'm like well I don't have like if I'm sold out I'm sold out and so you know at a certain point in time it did turn into a business and I said okay is there a way that I can train someone to do the things that I do as long as they have great values and they believe the same things that I do and so you know it did and and we got to the point where we were doing eight to nine hundred events a year and that's wild to me.

Pat

That's insane. That's why that is a large number.

Kristin

That's very large.

Pat

That's super duper large, yeah. But that has to come in a point of pride. I know, of course, being humble all the way. I can say, having spent a decent amount of time with you at this point very humble do not come off like someone who has a company that at one point ran events in a year, but that is a feat in itself, and I kind of spoke with the sound girls about this in a prior podcast what does it feel like to kind of have that legacy what does it feel like to essentially be carving your name in this in this path in this company in this doing all of this in your image what is what does that feel like?

Kristin

You know, I come from a really, really humble background, and I was never handed anything in my life. You know, if we were on a whole nother podcast, you know, I can tell you that whole story, but you know.

Pat

You'll come back, don't worry.

Kristin

Yeah, uh, I think for me, if we're getting really deep here, it's about creating opportunity where it didn't exist before for someone and people who didn't know that they could do it. So for me, that is females, you know, again it goes back to I want to be able to create something where if someone wants to, you know, make a good living, love what they do and still have that role of whatever that may be whether that's wife, mom, friend, you know whatever you can balance all that and still you know lead a really great life and so for me it's about creating those opportunities the same ones that I manifested for myself I want to be able to show that to you know the ones underneath me who don't know you know.

Pat

So, was the plan always to go complete female client our complete female employee? Was that the goal from day one, or was that something that kind of manifested itself over time?

Kristin

Definitely manifested over time. I never wanted to have employees like I went to school for sales and marketing, and I absolutely love marketing. I love creating, and you know, just the excitement of sharing with people the things that we do right, and so I'm I didn't want I didn't want employees, but then I found really great people, and I'm like oh cool you could do this you know so it definitely evolved over time for sure.

Pat

So, what is the point in time that you hit in this process of creating this? This was like, oh crap, this is a thing. I'm on to something here. At what point did you kind of get in that in that vein.

Kristin

I'm laughing because I really want to say, like yesterday, maybe I'm on to something.

Pat

I mean, yesterday was a good time.

Kristin

I don't know, every day I'm like, what am I doing with my life? No, but on the real, it was probably about five years in where I was like, okay, Kristin, you really need to get it together. What are we doing here? Are we gonna build a business model out of this? Like, is this what you're doing for the rest of your life? Because when I went from my corporate job that had disability and insurance and all the things, and then I just threw that out the water, and I was like, okay, I'm doing this was supposed to be the bridge that got me somewhere else because in my mind I had always envisioned myself being in New York City and the highest skyscraper in the corner office being like CEO of like an ad agency or something and so this was just supposed to be the bridge and allegedly it's not the bridge.

Pat

Apparently, it's not the bridge.

Kristin

Apparently, it's not the bridge. It is what I'm supposed to be doing, so that was about five years in.

Pat

Okay, so you say it's what you're supposed to be doing. Has that had your perspective switched, has it changed, and what kind of initiated that?

Kristin

Hmm, ask me that question again: What do you mean?

Pat

When you just said that this is something that you should be doing, is it something that you felt before that you know this is, like you said, a bridge? When did that switch flip in your head that went from This is something that I can do to This is something that I should do.

Kristin

So let's go back to kind of that five-year mark, you know, a lot of things started happening and really appeared in my life that was okay, like the validation, right? Like clients were like, oh my god, you are amazing, and I'm like, wait I am like you. I'm good at this, but you like, you're like, what I'm doing okay cool, then I'm gonna keep doing it, you know, um team members that joined they were like, oh my god, you're the best boss I've ever had wait what I don't know how to be a boss so okay I'll keep doing this so there were multiple validation points along the way that I was like okay maybe I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing and I remember when we planned our five-year anniversary party I was like okay we need a theme you know need some sort of like theme and I came up with the concept Love Lead Excel which is loving what you do leading by example and then excelling at all of it so just slay you know.

Pat

Blowing it out of the water.

Kristin

Just blow it out of the water, um, and so that's something that I still live by to this day, and it's funny because I thought that would be like the five-year theme, but that is literally turned into Kristin's whole entire life.

Pat

If you had to summarize the company, how would you would is that your your your slogan yes, per se like.

Kristin

100 percent. Love what you do, lead by example, and then just slay.

Pat

Is that something that you would bestow to employees coming in? Is that something that you would bestow to anyone in any capacity is that? Where have you kind of trialed and erred this thought, uh, I guess, thought for your company?

Kristin

Yeah, I mean, it's definitely a hashtag. It's something that we infuse in our mission and vision, uh, we infuse it in all of our core values and things like that, and it really is just something that I leave lead my life by so whether it's my employees or whether it's my business partners or the industry that I educate whether that's the DJ industry or the wedding industry I just try to live by that motto and inspire people to do the same.

Pat

Do you, because of where you're at now and because of how big your company has gotten, do you get to do any more of that sales and marketing stuff? Do you still get to scratch that hitch?

Kristin

Oh yeah, all the time, yeah, all the time, and it's great, yes.

Pat

You get the best of both worlds.

Kristin

I do I really do that. You know, there was a point where, you know, we were going to start building a layer of management, which I was okay with, um, you know, but then the world kind of changed, which I think for me it came at a really great time because it allowed me to look and say reevaluate okay where do I want to go where do I want to be where do I really how can I be the best version of myself for everyone that's in my world you know and so for me I love being able to like touch little things you know whether that's I'm doing it myself or I can really have a one-on-one conversation with whoever that is.

Pat

So you reference the elephant in the room, and I will backpack off of that into. So COVID was a major thing, yeah, and it seems like live events are kind of the lifeblood of what you do.

Kristin

Not kind of. They definitely are, yeah.

Pat

I undersold that a little bit I was I was hoping it was fine. I got you; um, how did you adapt in that moment? What did you do at first? Did your hair kind of go on fire and run around a little bit, or what was that process like that buildup of it's not a thing? It's not a thing, it's a thing. Oh my god, we're locked in the room together for a year, and you can't go anywhere.

Kristin

You know for me I I am I definitely have the personality style of um I don't panic first okay so for me that's good for me it was living in every single moment in time so I don't want to call it denial I want to call it like real reality where I was literally locked into the news because I'm like the phone's gonna ring in the morning and I'm gonna have 30 clients asking me questions I need to have more information to be able to help guide them to the decision they need to make that's best for them right right so like I'm turning into a news anchor and you know not that I want to call it a meteorologist but like you know a medical whatever you know so I gathered up you know my medical board of advisors and every single day I remember in the living room okay what are we saying what's going on today where are we at today you know definitely stressed me out every single day but every morning I'm like okay I gotta get up 7 a.m because the phone's gonna ring they're gonna ask me questions you know do I have the wedding do I not have the wedding are we having this event what you know and it was a constant evolution of change you know. I'd have people in Florida, New Jersey, Chicago, all across the U.S. being like what are we doing, you know, whether they're in live events weddings or whatever, and so you know, I kind of just took leadership on that to get in the trenches and just figure it out I think I really hit I mean, I'm gonna be honest I'm such a positive person but I really hit a low in September okay September was like my low yeah well.

Pat

And you seem to be someone who's also an extrovert, and as someone who's also an extrovert, when you don't get that contact, it definitely you're like, I want to talk to someone who's not you like anyone else, and not a screen I can't do screens anymore I can't so in all of that happening how did you adapt what did you do what was the what was your thought process and how did you get to your endpoint which is right now and I think the world is opening again I think weddings are coming back and all of the good things.

Kristin

We're celebrating. I'm posting it on Instagram; I'm not hiding it anymore.

Pat

Hey guys, guess what? The world is open.

Kristin

Um, for me, it was changing my daily routine, okay, and I'm talking like a major mindset change, um. It was no longer about, you know, as soon as you open your eyes, check the email, get rid of the spam because there were bombs in that email every single day, and so you know for me, um, you know I had to wake up with gratitude, and so every day I would sit down and I'd write down okay what are the three things I'm most grateful for right and sometimes that was a struggle because like I had nothing today bruh um.

Pat

The sandwich is really good.

Kristin

I mean, if you know, if I even got snuck a sandwich into my dungeon, you know, more work than I have ever done in my life, more psychology than I've ever done, um, you know, I picked up bike riding okay being outdoors from I'm not a Peloton girl not happening I need to be outdoors I need to see trees I need to feel sunshine I need to feel you know rejuvenation.

Pat

Yeah, you need to get that sunlight. Um, you're a plant person. You gotta get the sun. Maybe I'm not like that.

Kristin

I def anything green. I don't know how to water it, so I usually kill it. I have a brown thumb.

Pat

So maybe you're not a plant person, but you do like the sun.

Kristin

Yes okay I love the outdoors um so there definitely was a lot of that and then I would time block anything that had to do with COVID or events because it doesn't matter what position you're in it's all negative right there was nothing positive about that in any way shape or form it was a devastation from you know a couple standpoint a family standpoint there was pressure on our couples even if they wanted to have the wedding the family was all the opinions you know the news would say one thing or if like everything was fine it was like the pressure from like what society would think if you if you did have the wedding yeah I mean so many psychological things that people were going through and then for me I'm like I just need to get to 2022 because if I postpone your wedding I still need to be alive when that comes around that's fair so that was that was extremely difficult to strategically figure out how am I going to make this mess balance out for two years because you know for our couples it might have been one day for right us it was two years it's two years I'm not getting out of this until 2022.

Pat

So you say get out of this. What do you mean when you say that?

Kristin

It's that it's the biggest financial crisis I have ever seen in my entire life. I don't wish this upon anyone.

Pat

So, were you able to do anything in the meantime to be able to offset income in any way? Were you able to do any? Did you guys go digital? Did you do what kind of things presented themselves?

Kristin

Okay so yes and no for us you know we have always folk we're not we're not a giant av company we focus on djing right and photobooth photobooth out of the question you're not you're not setting up a djing event don't even get near me can't touch i mean you know but we focused on special events so there was no let me go virtual we did but we did it for promo stuff right you know you know thankfully the way we run our business is very legitimate so I praise everything above every day for the ppp because that took care of payroll and that allowed us to get from you know uh let's say like June to like January right you know what i mean it floated it to the point where our clients could still be taken care of because there's zero money coming in but i can take care of employees to take care of them you know right and then the second round of ppp came and thankfully that will get us through October which i'm hoping that like October in Florida busy season we can float our own selves from October to December and then i'm ready to just rage.

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Pat

So, what is on the horizon? What do you have? You guys had your first event back yet and have, oh yeah, so how many have we done to this point? How many in a post-covid world, quote unquote?

Kristin

Goodness gracious, okay, well, in Florida. Do you remember we opened up in June? Oh yeah, it wasn't a ton, right? But, like smaller, I have definitely done way more than so many of my peers, which you know is terrifying, but I'm thankful because I can pass on the knowledge that I have from that, um, I honestly don't know the number.

Pat

That's fine. I was just wondering.

Kristin

Um, but yeah, we've been doing them since June, and um, which is awesome. It's been great, and I'm also on the board for the National Association of Catering and Events, okay, and so I've been able to use my experience from that to help create the Florida COVID guidelines for anyone else who's a part of that association so that they can create safe events too.

Pat

So let me ask a question that I'm sure is on every couple that is engaged on their minds: are weddings going to be a thing this year and into next year?

Kristin

Yes.

Pat

Are they going to be back to normal?

Kristin

I think by 2022, a hundred percent, I think there's still some hesitancy right in, especially through summer, but again, I mean, you're in Florida, it's hot, and then we hit hurricane season, so it's still the normal hesitancies in general, right um I think when it comes to conventions and the corporate market we're already seeing that the convention center is opening back up so, you're going to see a lot of consumer shows over the summer and then once you hit fall I mean there's nothing like the connection of one human and another so as much as virtual is not going away because we've all been forced to figure it out you know maybe there's hybrid events, and that's not going away because maybe we were scared of technology but it's like boom COVID you have to learn cool now we know.

Pat

Yeah, Zoom is a thing I didn't know about that a year ago.

Kristin

But, like, there's nothing like the energy and the feeling when you are with another human, so people are gonna rage.

Pat

People are gonna rage. I agree with that statement. Everybody's been pent up for over a year. Everybody's looking for a reason, yeah, and I think it's going to be crazy, and I think that benefits you in such a wonderful way, and everything that you guys do and how awesome it is, I do want to ask what is your jam to get people going what is it what's your go-to bro.

Kristin

That depends on the crowd. Yeah, I know.

Pat

Give me a top three or something.

Kristin

Okay, well, let's just go back to, like, last night, so last night, uh, I DJ'd for, uh, an industry event, and I was like, oh, should I do it? Should I not do it? They were already raging. Oh yeah, but I love to sneak in things that people are songs that like people totally forgot about, and then they end up like karaoke-ing it for like seconds, and then the next day they're like, I can't believe she played that song so like let's go back to the first question you asked me on like my albums oh yeah oh I totally dropped um Ushers um um um uh was it you don't have to call it was from the 8701 albums okay wild wild.

Pat

People lost it lost it.

Kristin

I also played a remix of Mbop. Oh no, that had people love them, correct? Like it was like the lyrics of Mbop, but I dropped it in from like a hip-hop song, so they were still twerking to Hanson, so that was really fun.

Pat

So, what you're saying is you're an artist, and being a DJ, that's your paintbrush essentially.

Kristin

 Yes, so I painted Mr Brightside, too. That was fun.

Pat

What did you paint Mr Brightside with that's that's a jam all in it on its own

Kristin

Listen like if I can get you twerking and dancing or two-stepping or singing at the top of your lungs like I've done my job.

Pat

What was your first what was your first gig, what was the first gig you did, and how did it go?

Kristin

Oh my gosh, it was the worst event ever in my entire life.

Pat

You can share because I've also had a first-event story that was horrific, and it was because of Craig.

Kristin

It was in the middle of nowhere, okay va, it was at a va vw vw that one va va what the veterans association, one of those things, yeah just like a random hall. Um, at that point in time, it was only CDs. There was no digital love, and so I all of their special songs I had burned on a CD.

Pat

Totally legally.

Kristin

You own them and when i got to the event and put the cd in to double check it one more time i allegedly the cd burner didn't work correctly and so the first dance only burned half the song and it was a tim mcgraw song so i'm like cool uh let me find a target or Walmart well i mean no internet yeah and the closest Walmart was 30 minutes away so when they got there i asked the best man i'm like do you have this cd at your house and like can you go get it for me because i can't get this first dance to play anyways we figured it out we got it blah blah came back well um i you know i had my setup on a table i had two speakers on either side well one of the groomsmen had gotten so intoxicated that he would not leave my DJ booth oh he was hanging on it and so i'm like this is all gonna like fall over in a second and at one point in time it it was going down and so the speaker started to fall over i had my headphones on so these like flew off right so i could catch the speaker yeah so that it wouldn't fall yeah caught the speaker got it up broke the headphone thing came back here still made things happen and by the end of that night they the i think the cops ended up getting um because there was a fight in the front because like good times his girlfriend was like why aren't you hanging out with me.

Pat

Oh, all right!

Kristin

That was wild. I'd never had to catch a speaker before.

Pat

As far as first gigs go, I think that might be one of the worst of mine; I was just in a TGI Friday's because Craig went to Tennessee with his then-girlfriend, now wife, and he was like, do you want to do trivia, and I had never spoken into a microphone before oh that's fun so it was literally one of the worst experiences in my life people were like where's Craig and I was like not here, and they were like cool, and then they left yeah so many people left so many people I got good at it eventually which is why I'm talking to you in a microphone now, but it took a long time I had like an RBF problem it was a whole big thing.

Kristin

Well, you got a really great inflection, so I'm proud of you.

Pat

Oh, thank you so much. I appreciate that, yes, so I do want to pivot. I'm sure we'll come back to Usher and Gloria and Bruno, but I do want to pivot and start talking about how you became just a QSC monster. You are the face, the person, the one. How did this come about? How did this become a thing?

Kristin

Totally organic. I mean, I absolutely love their products, period, and so as we started to build, uh, with DJs going out, it was a no-brainer for me, right, and so I ended up with a warehouse of QSC things um, you know I met some of the amazing team members at QSC at quite a few conferences um we just got connected we had really great relationships, and they would see what I post, and you know I'm not. Oh my god, you have to buy QSC, whatever. It's just if it's in the background of my photo, and you know, whatever, they would repost it, and we'd share, and organically, I just talk about it, you know what I mean.

Pat

So where did you start from, like, what was this? Obviously, we talked about the CDs, but where did you start from? And where are you now? What does a regular setup look like for you? Uh, what does the upgrade look like, and what can people kind of keep their eye on if they're looking to upgrade their set? What QSC product can you recommend for someone who's looking to upgrade, maybe a speaker or something like that?

Kristin

Yeah so you know again put putting things into context we do private events and weddings and so typically that's anywhere between you know people to people and so for me uh it's it's really easy to kind of interconnect any type of QSC product to any type of event so here's what i mean by that i have QSC 12s i have QSC 10s i have eights i have um i have a cpso um I have i think kw so i have a multitude of their products and so no matter what scale the event is i can always bring in sound reinforcements no matter what the event is so that makes it really easy i think number two when it comes to QSC there's always backup so you know when you look at the back of their console you can hook up with an XLR out of your controller or your mixer but you know if if you've got to do like a small little just like cocktail hour setup where if you want to you know plug in an Ipad or some sort of like AV source where it's just background music you can do that with like an eighth inch or an RCA or if you're doing a ceremony setup maybe you don't need as much bass and you can use one of their CP series you know what i mean it's not as heavy but you've got the vocals and again you have as many inputs on the back as you want so honestly you can't you can't go wrong you can't go wrong when.

Pat

Can you pick a favorite? What's your favorite speaker?

Kristin

I really do love the QSC k12s. Okay, yeah.

Pat

What makes them your favorite?

Kristin

So I love with them that it's got the fullness of the vocals, but it's got enough like in the base. Gotta love a base. Yes, to be able to fill a room, um, if you wanted to take it to the next level, you could always take the QSCs and hook it up to a and give it more bass, and so I like that versatility because you know there's a lot of venues that that we do they're a little bit more intimate, and you a is too much.

Pat

It's gonna blow it out.

Kristin

It really is, and so, but if you go into a giant ballroom where there are 300 people and you really want it hot on the dance floor, yeah, you might, you might, you might add the sub.

Pat

When you want to uptown funk it, that's when you plug in and make it happen.

Kristin

Yeah, I mean, or Cardi B, really, but yeah.

Pat

Cardi B that's always that's always a good one, too. Yeah, uh, so this feels kind of like a redundant question, okay, but I'm gonna ask it anyway because we're talking about, and we're talking about, the quality of the product; what does good sound mean to you?

Kristin

That's a great question. I feel like, for me, great sound is a feeling, and feeling comes from my ears. That's so weird that I just said that, but I said it.

Pat

I saw the thought happen in real-time, yes, so anyone who's watching this visually might also see it. I saw it process.

Kristin

Thank you, um, and so I want to hear the lyrics, but I also want to feel the melody, and I want to feel the bass because in order for me in order for music to move me, I need to feel all the things right, you know, and I've heard so many products where it's just like I can't feel this like what it's it's why I don't like to listen to music on just my phone has to be hooked up to something so I can hear the audio I want to hear the highs I want to hear the mids I want to hear the lows so for me it's about all of those because you really want a full sound right.

Pat

I think that QSC should just take that and just put that behind anything that they release. Yes, from this point forward. And there it is. Yes. I think that's done. Yeah, we just did that for them. You're like, they didn't even need to ask, so yeah, I want to ask, uh, what motivates you from this point? So obviously, weddings are coming back, in-person events are coming back, and that's going to be great. And you guys will obviously get back to where you were. What motivates you to take this to the next level? What is that thing that is exciting you about the next steps? Are you not happy with where you are? Do you want to do you is this? Do you want to cap it?

Kristin

I think I always want something more because I mean if what's the whole quote they say like if if you're not living you're dying right and so I think for me it's great relationships and it's helping other people and so if I can help someone and someone can help me and we can both strive to level up or ignite something in each other to do something more whatever that means there might not even be a dollar amount attached to that but i think that what the world really taught us and hopefully what it taught everyone but what it really taught me is that life is precious and tomorrow is not promised and so what are you doing with your life today and what makes you happy today and so infusing that into every single day and then building upon that is what motivates me and excites me.

Pat

What is one of the weirdest things you've been asked to DJ? You were like this is going to be weird, but it was actually phenomenal and great, and you loved it.

Kristin

Oh man, I wish I could tell you stories of the answer to other people who have answered that question. I don't think I've really ever been asked to DJ weird things. I mean, probably, but I have such an open mind that even when my clients are like, okay, this is my vision, I'm just thinking seriously, but then I take a step back, and I'm like, okay, but that's their personality, and then I ask more questions, and I'm like okay this is the vision and even if it doesn't fit with what I'm used to or where I've seen before I'm like cool I get the vision, and then we do it, and then I end it, and I'm like dang that was like really good.

Pat

So how do you how do you find that adaptability? You obviously have it in yourself, but how do you find that in other people? What are the questions? What are the positions? What are things that you've asked that lead you to believe that people have that trait?

Kristin

So like for my DJs right that's what you're asking right um for me i think it's just getting to know them over time i don't think there's one question that i could ask someone to know that they're able to do that um and i can't think of the question but maybe i should but usually within the first six months you know you know are people open like are they are they curious about life like are they excited to talk to other humans do they do they really want to step outside their own selves and get to know other people to be able to like provide that service to them you know rather than like there are definitely a lot of DJs out there like this is my set list and i'm not going off of it and i'm like that is a true thing i mean i will little literally i mean reverb out of a song and drop something in and it's not in phrase and it's not on beat but like that's what they want and the crowd went wild but that's but that doesn't fit the typical DJ world because like if you don't mix it on beat in phrase or like whatever you're not a good DJ you.

Pat

That's weird. So, have you run into, um, in your time being a DJ and starting RDJ rocks, have you run into a lot of issues? Obviously, as you said, you, as a female, were underrepresented in this field and still are arguably underrepresented in this field. Have you run into a lot of negativity?

Kristin

All the time.

Pat

Still, to this day, is that something that you have, or is it lessening with time?

Kristin

It is lessening with time, um, you know, in the very beginning, there was zero respect at all. I would go to conferences, and my husband would be standing next to me, and you know, passing in conversation, people would automatically look at him and start talking to him about microphones, and he's like, I don't. I don't even know what you're talking about. She's the DJ, not me, you know, and so it was as if I didn't even exist in so, you know, for me I was like, oh heard okay got you um, and so I got it so I mean I put my head down, and I just hustle, and I think that no matter what in life everyone should follow that rule no matter what um but I mean maybe there's a certain point in time maybe it's now maybe I don't know, but at a certain point in time it did start to lessen.

Pat

So, what advice would you give to someone? Again, this is something I've asked something similar of the sound girls when they were here. What was advice you would give someone who maybe it's not in the DJ space, maybe it's not in the sound space, maybe it, but what would you say for a female who's trying to break into a male-dominated industry? What would be some pointers that you would give them or something in your experience that would help them?

Kristin

So I think first and foremost you have to leave your brain first period because I think as females in this industry, you're going to be looked at a certain way, and that just is what it is, and you can't take that personally, you just have to know that like you are capable you are smart enough and you can do this and so as long as you lead with that first you know what I'm saying like it's not as easy as just walking in like hey let's have beers you know what I mean like you can't lead with that you know you have to continually prove yourself and improve your worth and then when you do, and you keep your head down, and you hustle, and you do it, and the accolades are there there's nothing that anyone can say to you the proof is in the pudding.

Pat

So, I want to pivot from that to how much fun you have.

Kristin

Oh my god, so much fun.

Pat

Do you love what you do? 

Kristin

I deeply love it. I am obsessed with what I do.

Pat

What keeps you coming back? What's the thing about this specifically? I've recently undergone a change. I used to be a night owl and be in bars playing music and hosting trivia and doing bingo and stuff, and I've now become a nine-to-sixer, and it's horrible, but it's what is normal for the world, um, what keeps you here what keeps you in this in this space?

Kristin

Variety learning talking to people being inspired by people who maybe are in your industry but like not in your industry but like kind of in your industry um but it really is the just it's the continual learning it's non-stop you know like never in my life would I have ever thought that I would even DJ on turntables and like I touched a turntable and I was like you know what I mean like and then you know and you know do I want to do that and like buy a set of turntables who knows you know what I mean but it keeps me on my toes um and then just you know being around like-minded individuals who think like you and are inspired by the same things as you and you know maybe they love this genre, and you love that genre and then somehow you fuse those together and then like magic happens on the dance floor you're like oh my god you know what I mean

Pat

Is that the is that the best endorphin buzz that you yes is is there nobody and then everybody.

Kristin

Yes, there's absolutely nothing like it, and so to be able to do that and to do it really, really well, it is all about the atmospheric vibes and the way things sound and feel, and you have to do that with like a really great room and really great AV and audio and sound, and you know all the five senses all of them.

Pat

That's awesome.

Kristin

That's literally what keeps me going. That's my fire.

Pat

I just want to hang out when you're doing stuff now. I just want to be your hype man if I can.

Kristin

Can we? I love that.

Pat

I can absolutely be a hype man. It was basically that for Craig for like seven years. Okay, that was literally pretty much all I did. Cool, let's go perfect. I can jump around to the song. Jump around. It's perfect. Yes, it's so what. What is one of the moments that happened to you in this space where I know I asked you already about where when you were like, oh, this is a thing? What was something where you were like, this is the coolest thing that's ever happened to me, and I'm so excited to everyone about it because we talked about your low, and you said September was like, okay, I'm gonna lose my mind what was your high what was the thing that happened who was the person you met what was this the DJ moment that happened where you were like this is the greatest moment of my life.

Kristin

Oh, I love this question. Okay, so I feel like I have so many of those, but.

Pat

If you need to top five, we can do a top five.

Kristin

Well, okay, I mean maybe, but I am the first one ever, um, and what makes me smile in this current moment is when I was like, okay, you know what, guys, like, we need a video, like, we need a team video of like, our tribe because like I love these chicks that are around me like let's make a video so we went on the rooftop in downtown Orlando we made a video sparky lars are flying blah blah blah, and it was that video that got me recognition from like my first DJ crush which was joe bun, and it wasn't you know a couple of months later, or whatever I was in Chicago I was at a DJ conference and like joe bun walks up to me and is like I saw your video do you want to go have like lunch real quick and I'm like oh what um you know I'm trying not to fangirl or whatever and so had lunch.

Pat

A little bit of sweat.

Kristin

There was just a yeah, just had like a great conversation because you know, sometimes whenever you're in these industries you have these icons and you're like on oh my god untouchable they are like the bomb like I want to be like them blah blah blah and so you know never had I ever saw someone in the wedding DJ event space who did the marketing that he did, and I can connect that because of what I do for RDJ rocks and so um fast forward uh Hamilton was in town yeah in Chicago, and it was what do you do for like Broadway shows I totally faked it he thought I knew everything and I didn't know crap I was texting people on the side like this guy likes Hamilton how do I get tickets because like he wants to go and like you know what I mean like it's like you like yeah please like you bid or something yeah well whatever something.

Pat

It was like a raffle.

Kristin

I don't really know, but whatever they do in Broadway.

Pat

Essentially, you put your name in a hat, and then they pull it out, and they're like, oh yeah, it's Jeff. Correct, Jeff has tickets.

Kristin

Yep, correct, so like tickets, I went to dinner with Joe Bunn and then watched Hamilton. I love you, Joe, if you're listening.

Pat

Joe, I also love you. I don't know why, but I do. How yeah, how was Hamilton? Did you like that?

Kristin

Oh my god, it was so good, so good it was phenomenal that it sucks for the rest of Broadway that that was my first show.

Pat

Oh yeah, everything is gonna be way weird from that. Yeah, yes, yeah, it's not.

Kristin

I mean, I just came out the gate and set the bar way high.

Pat

You'll like, uh, in the heights, which is Lynn's other Broadway, but they're the movie's coming out on HBO and next week two weeks, something like that.

Kristin

I probably should just watch the Broadway.

Pat

The Broadway is probably better, yeah, but, um, in the heights is still good. It's funny, it's a good time, okay, but um, no, thank you for sitting down and chatting with me about all things my DJ rocks, RDJ rocks everything, QSC, everything. I feel like I get to know you so much better now, yeah, and I have basically a handshake deal to be a hype man, correct? So that's enough for me. Yep, uh, is there anything else you'd like to leave the people with.

Kristin

No, I love you people. I love you. Thanks for having me.

Pat

It has been a pleasure RDJ rocks. Check them out, and thank you for coming to Sound Connections.

Kristin

Yep, any questions, holler at me at RDJ rocks or at me on Instagram.

Pat

See you guys next time.

And that does it. For another episode of Sound Connections, I would like to thank mainline marketing and sure for sponsoring the podcast. I would also like to thank Kristin Wilson of RDJ Rocks for coming out and speaking with us to make our next Sound Connection. Guys, don't forget to subscribe to us wherever it is you listen to podcasts and let us know who you think is the next Sound Connection we should make. We appreciate it, and we will see you guys all here next time.